The Ipanema Hippie Fair (Feira Hipe) has been held in the Praça General Osório, in the Ipanema neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro Brazil, every Sunday since the 1960s. It started as a rather small affair, organized by Hippies to sell crafts and who knows what else.
Over the years, the Ipanema Hippie Fair has evolved into a major arts and crafts market, showing off the works of some of the city's best artisans.
It's held every Sunday, rain or shine, from 9am - 5pm. The Praça General Osório takes up an entire city block, bordered by the major streets Rua Visconde de Piraja and Rua Prudente de Morais. The smaller Rua Teixeira de Melo and Rua Jangadeiros, run to Ipanema beach and enclose Praça General Osório on its north and south sides. It's located in the northern section of Ipanema, two blocks from the beach, and pretty close to the southern end of Copacabana Beach.
The Ipanema Hippie fair is a very well organized market, with covered vendor's stalls set up around the entire perimeter of the park. In the center of the park, painters show off and sell their latest oils, water colors, and other pictures.
The place is crowded with locals (Cariocas) and tourists all day long. Some vendors accept credit cards, but cash is king here. Vendors will usually accept Euros and $US, but prefer payment in Reais. Take smaller bills with you, as change for larger denominations is surprisingly hard to come by.
The Ipanema Hippie Fair is not a flea market, so you won't find used items or bargain basement prices. There are, however, medium to high quality arts and crafts sold at the most reasonable prices you'll find in Ipanema. It's the best place in town to pick up some souvenirs, and it's a mandatory stop for all tourists visiting Rio de Janeiro.
It's very safe to visit the Ipanema Hippie Fair, as there is little risk of physical assault. You do have to watch out for pickpockets, and it's best to keep your purse closed shut at all times and your wallet hidden in a zippered pocket. As in all places in Rio, avoid wearing nice jewelry. The Favela Cantagalo is on a hill near the Praça General Osório. Make sure to read section about Staying Safe in Rio.
You can comfortably take pictures at the fair. Exercise due caution, and have someone watch your back while framing the shot. Remember to visit our Rio de Janeiro Photo Tips page to get the inside information for taking pictures in Brazil.
In addition to arts, crafts, leather goods, paintings, and Tee-Shirts - other assorted cheaper goods are sold. Below, we recommend the best of the Ipanema Hippie Fair.
The Best of the Ipanema Hippie Fair
Leather Goods: Pocketbooks, purses, belts, sandals and the like are sold at many stalls along the Rua Prudente de Morais side of the park. The leather is not as fine as you'll find in Italy, but the goods are very well made, and the leather is strong. Leather bags are available in all colors and sizes and are perfect for carrying souvenirs back home. Several vendors sell smaller zippered leather wallets that can also attach to your belt. These are great for stowing digital cameras or for carrying around small amounts of money and a few credit cards. Prices for leather goods range from $R5 - $R100.
Paintings: Local artists show off their best work in the center of the park. A wide variety of styles are presented and range in size from very small to very large. Most paintings are unframed or framed only on the back without moldings. The artists will gladly remove paintings from the basic frames and roll them up inside a cardboard tube for safe transport home. Prices for paintings range from $R50 to over $R500.
Clothing: Hats and Tee-shirts abound, many of which are adorned with images of Sugarloaf and Christ Redeemer Statue. You can buy flip flops here, but you are better off buying the Havaianas brand in one of the neighborhood stores.
Insider's Tip - On the corner of the park, at Rua Prudente de Morais and Rua Teixeira de Melo, you'll find an artist who hand paints images of tropical flowers and birds onto higher quality shirts. These longer Tee Shirts make for great women's sleep shirts or lounge wear. Prices run from $R35 - $R50.
Semi precious Brazilian gem stones & inexpensive jewelry: Semi precious gem stones and objects are sold by vendors throughout the Ipanema Hippie Fair, but the best quality stones are along the Rua Visconde de Piraja side of the Praça General Osório. Here, you will find medium quality loose stones as well as some jewelry. Blue Topaz, Citrine, Amethyst, Quartz, and other common Brazilian stones are available. You probably can't go wrong spending up to $R100 on a gemstone or bracelet, but if you are looking to buy something of higher quality, head to the HStern Museum further down in Ipanema, on Rua Visconde de Piraja.
A wide variety of inexpensive hand made jewelery is sold at the Hippie Fair, which is great for wearing around Rio de Janeiro or to take back home as gifts.
Furniture: Vendors along the Rua Jangadeiros side of the park sell wonderful furniture made of wood, leather footstools, and tables made of inlaid stone.
This furniture items are too large and heavy to carry back home, but the artisans will arrange shipping, and they do accept credit cards.
Brazilian Food: All sorts of snack food items are sold at the Ipanema Hippie Fair, and the best is the authentic Bahian cuisine made to order at the corner of the park, at Rua Jangadeiros and Rua Prudente de Morais. You'll see Bahiana women wearing traditional Brazilian/African dresses, preparing deep fried Acarajé (mashed peas formed into balls), stuffed with Vatapá (paste made from shrimp and cashews). It's strong stuff but worth trying if it will be your only chance to eat traditional Bahian cuisine while in Brazil!
Insider's Tip - After visiting the Hippie Fair, grab a bite to eat at the excellent and inexpensive Frontera por kilo restaurant, which is located across the street from the Ipanema Hippie Fair. Also nearby is Big Nectar, which is one of the best fresh fruit juice Sucos Bars in Rio de Janeiro.
Traditional Brazilian Musical Instruments: Also sold are percussion instruments associated with Samba Music and with the Afro-Brazilian martial arts dance known as Capoeira. For pretty reasonable prices you'll find instruments such as the Cuica (pronounced qweeka), Caxixi (pronounced ca- shee-shee), Tamborine, and the very cool single string bow Berimbau (pronounced bee-ring-bow). During the course of the day, you will hear all sorts of exotic musical sounds at the Ipanema Hippie Fair, as vendors demonstrate their musical wares. Prices range from $R20 - $R75.
Watch this short video guided tour of the Hippie Fair
More Ipanema Hippie Fair Pictures!
Map of the Ipanema Hippie Fair at Praça General Osório